Why Some Social Media Fail?
It is a known piece of information that social media platforms are growing in terms of magnitude and also immersive capacity. Although this is true, there are few corner stone social media sites/apps that dominate the world and many others are doomed to die out eventually. Why is this so? I will go over three examples that died out and mention different reasons behind their tragic ends.
Sixdegrees is considered to be the first social media ever. As its name may hint, the basic function of the site was connecting people’s friend circles, enabling finding common friends and friends that have similar chains of friendships. It was a breakthrough in web history, yet the infrastructure of the web was not adequate for many people to join social media. It may be unfair to consider Sixdegrees as a failure, at most it can be a preliminary of future platforms.
Friendster came to the stage right before Facebook had launched and paved the way to become the first social network that people efficiently used. It allowed creating profiles and reaching to your circle of friends. Friendster continued sixdegrees’s way of conceptualizing friendships as degrees of separation. Thus, they used algorithms to suggest new people that are in certain degrees of separation from a user. They started having problems with their calculations of degrees of separation. Although they solved these problems, they had several others to emerge and remain. Engineers of Friendster then now accept that they used wrong VP and had unstoppable chain of bugs and failures. Hence, it was no surprise that people started to leave and use a newer, faster platform which is Facebook. From the design perspective what Friendster lacked was a news-feed that Facebook incorporated at 2006. On Friendster, what a user may spend time was filling up their profiles and finding or communicating with friends. Once a user has a quite rich profile, then there is not much left to spend time on the platform. All these reasons contributed to the site’s doom.
Myspace had been launched after Friendster’s success was seen and embraced. They wanted to create a platform that is live and hip rather than being focusing on connecting friends or creating circles. It had quite a success with its foundational dynamism. While as time went by and there was a platform, Facebook that was using real names, real people and real endaevours, Myspace started failing at observing new technologies and possibilities. Myspace also insisted on not opening its API and making third-party developers to build apps for Myspace. This exactly was what boosted Facebook in its first phases. From the user environment perspective, Myspace was a platform that users tried to become celebrities. This lead after a time lots of nude pictures and garbage content to take over the platform. While, there were other neat and more elite social media options. It is quite fast and easy to lose people on social network. When some people leave the site, it becomes idle for friends of those users as well.
What we can draw from these three examples is somewhat clear. Social media had gone through evolution that made many examples to go extinct. The right time, the right intentions and a close look at technology is necessary to have a living social environments. Although developers and owners of these platforms think they own them, social media is social as long as people use it. Once a website or platform achieves at having big numbers of users, they need to start working more to keep them on board.
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